Mentally ill man dies of starvation after services miss opportunities to help

    A 37 year old mentally ill alcoholic man died of malnourishment
    because he was ignored by his local mental health services, an
    inquest heard last week, writes Derren
    Hayes
    .

    Alfred Garner’s body was found in his south west London home
    dehydrated, incontinent, and dressed in a bin liner, Southwark
    Coroners court heard. Local mental services missed two
    opportunities to help Garner, the inquest was told.

    They ignored Garner’s plight despite a referral from his GP
    and a housing officer’s report that said his flat was smeared
    in excrement and covered in beer cans.

    Garner, who had a history of schizophrenic like psychosis, died in
    October, 2003, from multiple organ failure on the day a mental
    health worker finally visited him.

    A doctor who examined Garner’s body told the inquest his was
    the worst case of malnutrition she had seen in 20 years.

    Coroner Selena Lynch recorded a verdict of death from self neglect
    and alcohol dependence. She said the case would be reported to the
    Central and North London NHS Trust.

     

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